Saudi Arabia's crown prince had no knowledge of the specific operation that resulted in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul this month, a Saudi official familiar with the investigation said on Friday.
"There were no orders for them to kill him or even specifically kidnap him," said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity and adding that there was a standing order to bring critics of the kingdom back to the country.
"MbS had no knowledge of this specific operation and certainly did not order a kidnapping or murder of anybody. He will have been aware of the general instruction to tell people to come back," the source said, using the initials of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The source said the whereabouts of Khashoggi's body were unclear after it was handed over to a "local cooperator" but there was no sign of it at the consulate.